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  1. WISE volunteers reach halfway stage

    Date de publication:

    26 Avril 2005

    The 12 WISE volunteers are now more than 30 days into the campaign that got underway on 21 March. Confined to bed with their head tilted below their feet to simulate the conditions of spaceflight, they have got into a well-established daily routine.

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  2. Ariane 5 ECA readies for eagerly awaited return to flight

    Date de publication:

    3 Février 2005

    Ariane 5 ECA—an uprated version of the generic Ariane 5 offering greater lift capacity—is in the final stages of preparations for launch from the Guiana Space Centre, scheduled on 12 February. The launch marks the return of Ariane 5 ECA, which failed on its maiden flight in December 2002. The launch is also the culmination of months of effort to maximize its chances of success, and a crucial milestone for Europe’s launcher.

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  3. P80- a newcomer in the solid propulsion stakes

    Date de publication:

    27 Septembre 2006

    Europe’s family of launchers is set to grow, with a kid brother for Ariane 5 called Vega expected some time late next year. Vega is designed for the launch of small satellites, complementing its larger stable mate. The Vega project was initiated by ESA in 1999. CNES is leading development of the P80 engine that will power the 1st stage of the new launcher. The P80 will in fact carry 88 tonnes of solid fuel needed to get the light Vega launcher off the ground.

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  4. Ariane turns 25

    Date de publication:

    3 Janvier 2005

    24 December 1979 at 17:14 and 38 seconds, the first Ariane launcher fired its engines. For the first time in the history of the space adventure, a three-stage-to-orbit launcher, capable of carrying satellites weighing nearly 1 tonne, successfully lifted off from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Emotions ran high among those watching this landmark event in the history of space. But the road to success wasn’t all straight and smooth, since the launch had to be scrubbed twice before the big day, seriously sapping teams’ morale.

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  5. 10-ton Ariane 5 all ready to go

    Date de publication:

    10 Octobre 2004

    Since 9 August, CNES has been feverishly preparing for the forthcoming launch of Ariane 5 ECA, an uprated version of Ariane 5 offering greater lift capacity. After the failure of the launcher’s first flight in 2002, engineers embarked on a meticulous review. The launcher has now successfully completed ground qualification, but CNES’s teams are not dropping their guard and will be working flat out right up to the lift-off.

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  6. COROT enters home straight

    Date de publication:

    30 Novembre 2006

    CNES’s trailblazing COROT satellite is all set to embark on its quest for new worlds, with launch scheduled 27 December, 15:23 Paris time.

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  7. EGNOS control centre opens in Toulouse

    Date de publication:

    4 Avril 2005

    The EGNOS* PACF**, an important milestone in the development of Europe’s satellite navigation system, was opened at the Toulouse Space Centre on 24 March. This control centre, operated jointly by the French civil aviation authority DGAC and CNES, is a key component of EGNOS. The official opening ceremony was attended by Gilles de Robien, France’s Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Land Planning, Tourism and Maritime Affairs, accompanied by François d'Aubert, Minister for Research.

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  8. An innovative project to mitigate orbital pollution

    Date de publication:

    4 Juillet 2005

    Is space set to become as polluted as Earth? Orbital pollution is a reality: the amount of debris orbiting round Earth is growing, calling for a “ clean-up ” of near-Earth space. The project developed by Christophe Bonnal (CNES Launchers Directorate) seeks to contribute to sustainable development of near-Earth space by using an innovative technique to deorbit the largest items of debris. Last June, the project was honoured by the Aeroclub de France with its Prize for Technological Innovation.

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  9. Jules Verne ATV mission on the starting blocks

    Date de publication:

    2 Août 2007

    After a 12-day voyage across the Atlantic, the Jules Verne ATV*—the first fully automatic uncrewed cargo vessel built in Europe—has arrived safely at the Guyana Space Centre (CSG) ahead of launch early next year. Under CNES supervision, the mission will be a major first for Ariane 5 and the CSG.

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  10. Soyuz nearing French Guiana

    Date de publication:

    15 Novembre 2004

    Soyuz 2-1a successfully lifted off 8 November on its maiden flight from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. This success is a major step forward for the Russian launcher before the entry into service of Soyuz 2-1b in 2006 and its arrival in Kourou in 2007.

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  11. Vinci: full steam ahead

    Date de publication:

    14 Mars 2006

    Vega, Ariane 5 and other launchers could be attracted by the performance of Vinci, Europe’s new cryogenic rocket engine. Recent tests have confirmed its high level of reliability.

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  12. Ariane 5 booster on the test stand

    Date de publication:

    21 Novembre 2004

    As well as operating launchers, the Guiana Space Centre also conducts live firing tests. On 9 November, the centre’s solid booster test stand put one of Ariane 5’s boosters—the MPS solid propellant motor—through its paces for the ARTA* programme.

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  13. End of Wise bedrest campaign

    Date de publication:

    18 Mai 2005

    Back on their feet at last! The 1st Wise experiment campaign is now over for the 12 women volunteers, after 60 days months in a bedrest position to simulate the weightless conditions of space. The experiment will provide data on how the female body responds during space missions.

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  14. Strateole-Vorcore campaign studies the Antarctic ozone layer

    Date de publication:

    31 Août 2005

    From 1 September to 30 October, CNES is taking part in the Strateole-Vorcore balloon launch campaign in Antarctica. This campaign plans to release 20 or so stratospheric balloons in the lower stratosphere to study ozone variations in the polar vortex, using a new design of balloon developed by the agency for long-duration flights.

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  15. COROT fuels up

    Date de publication:

    30 Novembre 2006

    The COROT satellite has completed an important step in its 5-week launch campaign after fuelling up for its 3-year mission. Launch is still scheduled for 21 December from Baikonur.

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  16. ATV- the European ISS resupply ship

    Date de publication:

    2 Août 2007

    The Jules Verne, the first of Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicles designed to ferry supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), arrived at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou late in July. Since its arrival, CNES teams have been preparing the ATV for launch in specially altered facilities, under the watchful eye of the director of operations. It is scheduled to make its maiden flight on 31 January 2008, on a specially adapted Ariane 5 launcher.

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  17. Jules Verne embarks on an extraordinary journey

    Date de publication:

    24 Février 2008

    Sunday 9 March, on its 37th launch—the first in its ES-ATV configuration—Ariane 5 successfully placed the European Jules Verne ATV into elliptical Earth orbit. In 3 weeks’ time, it will be approaching and docking with the International Space Station (ISS).

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  18. Jason-2 all set for the off

    Date de publication:

    17 Juin 2008

    The Jason-2 oceanography satellite is now in the home straight and set for launch Friday 20 June. Before reaching final orbit, the satellite will go through a sequence of steps just after launch and during the beginning-of-life phase of its mission. Jason-2 teams are watching launch preparations advance in California with much relief after a series of setbacks over the last 2 weeks. First, successive delays in the launch of the GLAST satellite pushed back the departure of Jason-2, since the same ground teams were preparing both satellites; and then poor weather prevented the satellite from being mated with the launcher as planned.

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  19. GMES in Lille on 16 and 17 September

    Date de publication:

    30 Août 2008

    The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme, one of Europe’s flagship projects alongside Galileo, will be in the spotlight for two days in September at the Grand Palais, Lille.

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  20. ATV takes its final dive

    Date de publication:

    29 Septembre 2008

    After 7 months in space, the Jules Verne ATV has completed its mission after a flawless destructive re-entry guided by the ATV Control Centre at CNES’s facility in Toulouse, France.

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